Posts tagged “eulogy”

You can’t afford to be neutral on a moving train. Howard Zinn: 1922-2010

From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.Howard Zinn
Historian, Activist

I, too, teach this way, in large part because of role models like Howard Zinn. I can only hope to have a modicum of the influence this great man imparted on his students. RIP, Dr. Zinn.

Howard Zinn (1922-2010): A Tribute to the Legendary Historian with Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove

[Ed. 1/29/2010 Added a tribute to Dr. Zinn from Democracy Now!]

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So it goes. Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut II, RIP

I don’t have many heroes. Kurt Vonnegut certainly was one of the few. He changed my life.

I can’t precisely tell you how he did so. In fact, I can’t say what changed. But I know that after reading Slaughterhouse-Five as a sophomore in high school, my world was never the same.

Then came Breakfast of Champions, then Sirens of Titan, Galapagos, Cat’s Cradle. Each of these books greatly affected me over the years. They keep this absurd world we inhabit in perspective. Looking back at these icons of American letters, I couldn’t help thinking “if this isn’t nice I don’t know what is.” Thanks, Kurt!

For an informative bio of this genius, check out the LA Times biography (PDF) via the Chicago Tribune. (Ed. Note: this excellent bio seems to be gone from the online archives of both papers, so I am preserving it here in PDF format. So it goes.)

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